Anthony Contino, 31, stole a beach umbrella and cash.
A Volusia County Beach Patrol officer was arrested and placed on administrative leave after he was caught rummaging inside a woman's SUV in the parking lot of Pirana Grille on Thursday, June 5.
Anthony Contino, 31, was seen approaching the victim's vehicle at around 10:22 p.m., restaurant surveillance shows. Police report that the vehicle's rear lift gate had opened accidentally less than 15 minutes earlier. Contino did not take anything initially, going inside the bar for a bit before returning about 19 minutes later and removing a beach umbrella from the victim's car and placing it into the bed of his truck.
Contino then entered the SUV through the rear hatch, somehow triggering its alarm, likely from attempting to open a door from the inside, police suspect. He was spooked by the alarm for a few minutes but then returned to search the interior of the vehicle before being spotted by the victim, who was exiting the restaurant. Contino stole $170 in cash from a receipt book inside an apron that was in the car.
Police tracked down Contino at his brother's residence after receiving his phone number from his girlfriend. The report states that Contino sounded worried over the phone and asked what was the nature of the visit and phone call, "as he is a law enforcement officer and did not want to be involved in any reports, as it affected him more than 'regular people.'"
Contino would later admit to all the events during an interview at the Ormond Beach Police Department. The beach umbrella, valued at $20, and $142 in cash was recovered. Contino was charged with burglary of conveyance and petit theft of the first degree.